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Consumer Information

Consumers and Kids

NOTE: You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader, available as a free download, to view some of the files on this page. See EPA's PDF page to learn more about PDF, and for a link to the free Acrobat Reader.

Air Pollution

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What You Can Do

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Inspection & Maintenance Programs

  • Inspection and Maintenance Programs
    Vehicle inspection and maintenance programs (I/M) help improve air quality by identifying high-emitting vehicles in need of repair (through visual inspection, emissions testing, and/or the downloading of fault codes from a vehicle's onboard computer) and causing them to be fixed as a prerequisite to vehicle registration within a given non-attainment area. The 1990 Amendments to the Clean Air Act made I/M mandatory for several areas across the country, based upon various criteria, such as air quality classification, population, and/or geographic location.
  • On-Board Diagnostics
    On-Board Diagnostics, or "OBD," is a computer-based system built into all 1996 and later light-duty vehicles and trucks to monitor your vehicle's engine, transmission, and emissions control components. If your "Check Engine" light comes on and stays on, your OBD system is telling you that it has detected a problem with your vehicle. In addition to protecting the environment, this light, and the OBD system behind it, can save you time and money by identifying minor problems before they become major repair bills.

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Emissions Warranties

Vehicle manufacturers are required by federal law to provide warranty coverage for certain components of your vehicle's emissions-control system. These fact sheets explain each warranty in detail, provide you with a list of some of the parts covered under these warranties, explain the procedures for making an emissions warranty claim, and answer some of the most commonly asked questions about emissions warranties.

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Importing Vehicles and Engines (For cross-border sales policies, see: Cross Border Sales)

  • Importing vehicles and engines into the United States
    Prior to importing motor vehicles, motor vehicle engines, heavy-duty on-highway engines, recreational vehicles (dirt bikes, ATVs, ORUVs, snowmobiles) and nonroad engines into the United States, importers will need to become familiar with the applicable EPA emission regulations and requirements. This web site provides detailed information on EPA’s importation regulations and requirements.
  • Imports Helpline contact information:
    • Email: imports@epa.gov
    • Phone: (734) 214-4100

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Fuels

  • E15: Frequently Asked Questions
    This web page provides basic information on E15, which is a blend of gasoline and up to 15 volume percent ethanol.
  • Alternative Fuel Vehicles
    This U.S. Department of Energy web site provides basic information on vehicles that run on alternative fuels: electric, flexible fuel, fuel cell, hybrid electric, natural gas, and propane.
  • Biodiesel (PDF) (3 pp, 90K, EPA-420-F-10-009, February 2010)
    This fact sheet provides basic information on biodiesel, which is a renewable fuel produced from agricultural resources such as vegetable oils.
  • Phase II Reformulated Gasoline: The Next Major Step Toward Cleaner Air (PDF) (2 pp, 152K, EPA-420-F-99-042, November 1999)
    This brochure provides basic information about reformulated gasoline.
  • MTBE (methyl tertiary-butyl ether)
    MTBE is a chemical compound which contains oxygen and is often added to gasoline to boost its octane or to meet clean fuel oxygen requirements (i.e., reformulated gasoline and winter oxygenate gasoline). This Web site contains documents related to MTBE in gasoline and its air quality benefits.

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Gas-Saving Devices and Fuel Additives

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General

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Materials for Kids

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Locating Other Documents

  • Ordering EPA Publications from the National Service Center for Environmental Publications (NSCEP)
    Ordering options:
    • On the Internet: www.epa.gov/ncepihom/ordering.htm
    • By Phone: Call 800-490-9198 (speak to an operator Monday through Friday, 9:00 am – 5:30 pm, (EST). After hours you may leave a voice mail order.
    • By Email: nscep@bps-lmit.com
    • By Fax: 301-604-3408 (24 hours a day, 7 days a week)
  • EPA National Library Catalog

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  • Recycling Used Motor Oil
    Oil keeps our cars, lawnmowers, and many other machines running smoothly. But once oil is used, it must be discarded properly to keep it from contaminating the environment. Recycling used oil is becoming the preferred way of handling used oil to protect the environment and conserve natural resources.
  • New Climate-Friendly Motor Vehicle Air Conditioning Refrigerants (EPA-430-F-13-041, September 2013)
    This brochure provides information on new climate-friendly motor vehicle air conditioning refrigerants.
  • Motor Vehicle Air Conditioning and CFC Phaseout (EPA-430-F-13-004)
    This fact sheet provides a general overview of EPA regulations under Section 609 of the Clean Air Act, which focuses on preventing the release of refrigerants during the servicing of motor vehicle air-conditioning systems and similar appliances.
  • Lead-Acid Automobile Battery Recycling
    Ninety-six percent of all lead-acid batteries are recycled. Almost any retailer that sells lead-acid batteries collects used batteries for recycling, as required by most state laws.
  • Greenscapes
    EPA’s GreenScapes program provides cost-efficient and environmentally friendly solutions for landscaping. Designed to help preserve natural resources and prevent waste and pollution, GreenScapes encourages companies, government agencies, and homeowners to make more holistic decisions regarding waste generation and disposal and the associated impacts on land, water, air, and energy use.
  • It All Adds Up to Cleaner Air
    This program is a public education and partnership-building initiative developed by several federal agencies for the purpose of informing the public about the impact of their transportation choices on traffic congestion and air quality. This web site includes information on what you can do to help improve air quality and reduce traffic congestion and resources for individuals.
  • Pocket Guide to Transportation
    The U.S. Department of Transportation produces this compact resource that provides snapshots of the U.S. transportation system and highlights major transportation trends. The Pocket Guide contains a wealth of information on environmental sustainability, safety, economic competitiveness, and system use and livable communities.

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This page is maintained by EPA's Office of Transportation and Air Quality (OTAQ).
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